The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable Internet links.
The 125 Million-Pound Man?
Tottenham Hotspur has valued Gareth Bale at 125 million pounds ($190 million) as the London club tries to fend off interest for the Welshman from Real Madrid, the Sun reported.
Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy rejected a bid for 81 million pounds for Bale, and isn’t interested in doing a deal that involves any Real players.
Levy is “only interested in what’s best for Tottenham,” the paper quoted an anonymous source as saying. “If he can’t keep the player, which we must not forget he still wants to, then he’s going to make Real pay a very heavy price.”
The Daily Mail reported Bale is “reluctant” to risk his relationship with Tottenham fans by asking for a transfer to Spain.
Arsenal will have to pay at least 55 million pounds for Luis Suarez after the player decided he won’t ask the Premier League to arbitrate in his contract dispute with Liverpool, the Daily Mirror reported.
The paper quoted an anonymous source close to Liverpool’s American owners as saying the club is “100 percent confident” there isn’t a requirement in his contract to sell Suarez should a bid of more than 40 million pounds come in.
With three years left to go on his contract, Liverpool has valued Suarez at 55 million pounds. Arsenal last week offered 40 million pounds plus one pound to see if they could sign the Uruguayan striker.
Barton’s Everton Move?
Queens Park Rangers player Joey Barton is so keen to move to Everton, he’s willing to take a 50 percent pay cut, the Daily Mirror reported.
Barton, who returned to QPR this summer after a year at French side Marseille, has been in touch with Everton manager Roberto Martinez to see if the club is interested in him.
Barton, 30, makes 70,000 pounds a week at QPR.
England will never win the World Cup because the Premier League season is too long and players are always “running on empty,” former England manager Fabio Capello said on the website of soccer governing body FIFA.
“They (England) are the least fresh of the competing national sides because their league doesn’t have a break,” said Capello, who was in charge of England for four years and quit last year.
Unlike most other European countries, there is no winter break in the Premier League.
A Celtic fan who went on a diet after he got stuck in a turnstile at Partick Thistle’s stadium has been named Slimming World Man of the Year 2013, the Herald of Scotland reported.
Thomas McIntyre, 43, weighed more than 430 pounds (195 kilos) and had a waist measuring 74 inches (1.87 meters) before he decided to lose weight in February last year.
McIntyre now runs three times a week and takes his dog on long walks.
“I can fit through the turnstiles when I go to the football now so there’s no embarrassment there,” the paper quoted him as saying. “In fact, that’s the only downside to my weight loss because I have to queue with everyone else.”